Kain Hitam

Gua Kain Hitam - Painted Cave

Useful Information

Location: 96 km (2-3 hours drive) south/southeast of Miri.
From the park headquarter the Niah river is crossed by motor boat, then a 4 km planwalk to the cave.
(3.810121, 113.788421)
Open: All year daily 8:15-15.
Fee: Park Entrance: Adults MYR 3, Children MYR 1, Students MYR 1.
Photography Permit: Camera MYR 5, Video Camera MYR 10.
Special permits for Painted Cave: from the Park authorities in Kuching.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave ArchaeologyPainted Cave
Light: none, bring electric torch.
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Niah National Park, Batu Niah, Miri, Sarawak, Tel: +6085-737450, Tel: +6085-736648, Tel: +6085-737454, Tel: +6085-737918.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1971 cave declared a National Monument.


Kain Hitam or Painted Cave is located high in a limestone island, separate from Gunung Subis. About 65 m of the wall is full of cave paintings, showing humans and boats. This red paintings were made using hematite, an iron ore. Hematite (Fe2O3) is black, but the streak is red. This is the only cave with hematite drawings in Sarawak.

The floor is littered with death ships with an abundance of bones, beads, porcelain and stoneware sherds. Evidently this was the centre of elaborate prehistoric funerary rites, related to those still existing in the Niah River. C-14 dating on four death ships gave between 0 and 780 A.D.

For the painted cave a special permit is needed, which must be obtained prior to the visit from the Park authorities in Kuching.